Overheard in REI… “Mount Everest is very easy to climb, only just a little too high.”


The most common mountaineering question I get asked is “How was Everest”. It’s a hard question to answer with a phrase or two. It requires a great deal of hang waving a a certain amount of time to encapsulate a life changing event  where I risked my life, carried the body of a dead man, nearly plunged 3000 vertical feet down the Lhotse Iceface, made friendships that will last a lifetime, and lost 50 pounds of my own body weight. It was a tremendous event in my life, so it’s hard for me to summarize, and I usually don’t want to.

So you can imagine my amazement when I overheard someone today in REI summarize his Mount Everest expedition in 13-words. I think this quote is originally attributed to Andre Roch, although I heard it from someone else. Mostly the quote makes me laugh, some things just can’t be ‘boiled down’.

“Mount Everest is very easy to climb, only just a little too high.”

Here are some my pictures from my expedition to Mount Everest in 2005. I stood on the top of this particular ‘tangible goal’ at 9AM on 6/2/2005.